A functional organ in the body many of us tend to overlook and not care so much about is the heart. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies.
The heart is one of the most vital organs in the body and is literally the sustainer of life, when the heart stops, one’s life stops. More young people are having heart complications and dying from heart diseases than before and it’s no secret that healthy eating results to healthy living. We have listed some foods that are essential to keeping the heart working in optimal condition and they are not even boring foods!
Potatoes are good food for the heart either Irish or sweet potatoes as long as they aren’t deep fried. They are rich in fiber and potassium which reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart diseases. The potato’s fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health.
Tomatoes are very good for the heart. They are high in heart-healthy potassium. They’re also a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that may help get rid of “bad” cholesterol, keep blood vessels open, and lower heart attack risk. And because they’re low in calories and low in sugar, they don’t detract from an already-healthy diet.
Oatmeal is good food for the heart as it is high in soluble fiber which helps to reduce cholesterol. It helps to soak up the cholesterol in the digestive tract so it is eliminated from the body and not absorbed into the bloodstream. It’s highly recommended to eat the plain and not processed kind. 3 grams daily of oat soluble fiber may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
4. Dark Chocolate
Our daily dark chocolate has been found to be good for the heart especially the ones that contain 70% cocoa. It helps to reduce non-fatal heart attack and stroke. It also contains flavonoids called polyphenols, which help to relax the arteries, increase blood flow, blood pressure, clotting, and inflammation. Daily consumption is good for the heart.
Coffee is also healthy for the heart. It is high in antioxidants and reduces the risk of diabetes type II. Research has it that even two cups a day could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke by 30%. For the caffeine lovers and favorites keep drinking as it’s helpful for the heart. Caffeinated coffee can cause a short-term spike in your blood pressure, but regular drinkers develop a tolerance.
Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. They’re also high in antioxidants and in potassium which is essential for the heart. It’s best eaten alone or added to other meals such as salads etc.
Grapefruits contain a lot of vitamin C which according to research, can help protect against stroke and reduce cholesterol. The powerful nutrient combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C, and choline in grapefruit all help to maintain a healthy heart. Grapefruit is an excellent option for helping to increase the daily intake of potassium.